Athletics New Zealand have recently teamed up with parkrun New Zealand In an effort to grow recreational running opportunities and assist clubs to better engage with the large population of recreational runners throughout New Zealand.
parkrun organise free, weekly, 5km timed runs around the world. They are open to everyone, free, and are safe and easy to take part in.
These events take place in pleasant parkland surroundings and people of every ability are encouraged to take part; from those taking their first steps in running to Olympians; from juniors to those with more experience; parkrun welcomes you all.
Click here to find a parkrun near you, select the event you are most interested in and review all the information about the course, local news items, the photo gallery and information about volunteering.
Start a parkrun at your Club
With thousands of people engaging in recreational running nationwide this relationship with parkrun offers an opportunity for clubs to adapt their offerings in order to maintain relevance and to bridge the gap between recreational running and traditional athletics club structures. The hope is that clubs can use parkrun, recreational running, as a stepping stone to club running.
You can find out more information about parkrun and the existing locations on the parkrun website www.parkrun.co.nz
Click here to read the steps required for your club to set up a parkrun
parkrun Case Studies
A few Athletics clubs have already taken this step and are reaping the benefits of the parkrun relationship. To read about their experiences see below
parkrun Whangarei - Hatea Harriers
After seeing the growth in recreational running Hatea Harriers wanted to take a proactive approach to engaging non-club runners. This is when the idea of establishing a parkrun came up.
In February, 2016 Hatea Harriers hosted their first parkrun with the help of parkrun NZ. Recently we spoke with 2017 Hatea Harriers President, Jim Kettlewell to get some insight into how parkrun has worked for them. See what he had to say below.
Why did your club choose to run a weekly parkrun?
The timing at 8am on a Saturday morning was perfect for many Hatea Harriers and we now no longer hold events on a Saturday afternoon as a result. parkrun is what we, as a club, now do on a Saturday morning. It is free to enter. We saw that the non-competitive aspect of parkrun would appeal to many non-club runners and this has been shown to be the case over our first year of operation.
What were some of the barriers when you were first starting out and how did you overcome them?
There were very few barriers as such and none that we couldn’t get around easily, but it did take time so allow plenty. Getting the Mayor of Whangarei on board as a parkrunner was a good start as this eased our way through the required permissions.
How many participants do you have attending your weekly parkrun event?
We now average over 40 at each event with a new maximum of 68 last week so it is climbing steadily as new people are showing up each week.
We now have 547 people who have registered as park runners showing Whangarei as their home parkrun. This compares with 348 registered club runners in the whole of Northland.
What have been the benefits for your club in establishing a parkrun?
We are now giving our club runners something that they can do all the year round and at a time of the day that suits their needs. Because our club was instrumental in setting up Whangarei parkrun we have attracted people to our club events because we are seen as being "go getters" locally.
Hatea Harriers have now just gained 7 new members who have never before joined a running club. This is directly as a result of them having run at Whangarei parkrun. Being Run Directors for parkrun has provided some of our key members with an insight into administration which they might never have achieved.
Would you recommend establishing a parkrun to other Athletics clubs and why?
I would say "go for it". Your club will have the administrative experience to set it all up and you will be surprised at the interest in running that you will create. It is going to attract new comers to the sport of running (and walking) and they will see your club as the next step forward.